Science Festival Starts: ‘Increase Possibilities for Lifelong Learning’


Swedish Minister for Higher Education and Research, Helene Hellmark Knutsson, said she was excited to be at this year’s science festival in Gothenburg, and reiterated ‘support and (to) protect free scientific research’ in the country. Referring to fake news, she said arguments should be made with facts and good debate, and science should not be allowed to be polarised in free, open and democratic societies.

Draken theatre was packed with audience for the inauguration ceremony

“If Sweden wants to compete in a global economy with highly skilled labour force and its role in higher education becomes a key issue. We must increase the possibilities for lifelong learning across the whole country,” Helene Hellmark Knutsson said and informed that her department has increased budgetary allocations in research for institutions across the country.

Helene Hellmark Knutsson at the International Science Festival (Vetenskapsfestivalen) 2018

The International Science Festival (Vetanskapsfestivalen) in Gothenburg has begun today and different programmes are slated to take place across the city until this weekend including quizzes and comedy shows with a twist of science. The main topic at the inauguration was Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the chief guest to talk about this was Max Tegmark the author of Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence and ardent supporter of AI. Helene Hellmark Knutsson said the scientific community should weigh the opportunities and risks with AI for the community.

Prof Max Tegmark spoke on AI via Live-Hologram

A 71-year-old Jan Anders Westergren came to the inaugural lecture because he was curious to know about the future of AI in the lives of people and what Max Tegmark says because he had read his books.

Tutun Nandy, a software engineer at SKF, attended the festival’s inauguration because of his interest in science and to gather information about the research in science in Sweden.

Aram Albarzngi, a Master’s degree student from Chalmers University of Technology, said, “I am pretty excited. I was looking forward to this because it is about Artificial Intelligence which has a huge part in technology.”

Jennie Turner, Manager of the Science Festival, said that the programme had started on a planned note and looking forward to the rest of the events during the festival period.

The festival was inaugurated with music played by robots, lecture of Max Tegmark, and a debate on AI at Draken. The venue was packed with 700 people and the inauguration ended with a song sung by a group of young Gothenburgers.